Viva, Las Vegas.
Washington will be heading to Sin City for its third consecutive bowl game under Steve Sarkisian when it travels to face 20th-ranked Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 22.
Boise State (10-2, 7-1) tied for first in the Mountain West Conference and was picked by the Las Vegas Bowl committee in a game that pits the Mountain West’s best versus a Pac-12 representative. Oregon (in the Fiesta Bowl against Kansas State) and Stanford (in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin) were picked for the BCS.
Oregon State is going to the Alamo Bowl, UCLA heads to the Holiday Bowl and USC is going to the Sun Bowl as the fourth bowl eligible representative from the Pac-12 not in the BCS.
That left the Las Vegas Bowl to select between Washington and Arizona, since it had the next choice of Pac-12 teams.
Playing the Broncos brings multiple levels of intrigue. The Huskies will host Boise State to open renovated Husky Stadium in 2013, so, no matter what happens in three weeks, the rematch is already slated to take place.
The Broncos have grown from the BCS-busting team of 2007 that stunned blueblood Oklahoma in overtime, to one of the most consistent winners in the nation. Boise State has won 10 or more games for seven consecutive seasons, a streak that leads country.
By prestige, this is lowest-ranking bowl Washington has been to with Sarkisian at the helm. In 2010, Washington stunned Nebraska 19-7 in the Holiday Bowl, which takes the Pac-12 No. 3. Last season, the Huskies lost a shootout 67-56 with Baylor and Robert Griffin III at the Alamo Bowl, which selects the Pac-12’s No. 2, ostensibly costing defensive coordinator Nick Holt his job.
Washington will be chasing its elusive eighth win, which would be the most since 2001. Washington squeaked into the Holiday Bowl at 6-6 in 2010. Last season, like this one, it was 7-5 heading into the bowl game.
Sarkisian said he will keep the same approach to the bowl run-up he has used the last two years.
“I think we’ve done a lot of really cool stuff,” Sarkisian said. “I thought that we’ve gone into the game really well prepared. When there were opportunities to have our fun, we’ve had our fun. When it’s time to be business and go to work and I think that format has been good to us. We won the first game and like to think we should have won the second game. Hopefully we can win the third game.”
Here’s a link to the schedule of events in Las Vegas for fans and the team.